Title: I've Got Margaret

By: adoreleo

Pairing: Leo/Margaret

Rating: PG13

Spoilers: Everything up to and including War Crimes.

Disclaimer: The characters are from the NBC, WB, TV show The West Wing; they do not belong to me.

Feedback: I would love it hear your opinion!

Summary: Post episode to War Crimes. Text within the ~'s are dialog from the episode.

I've Got Margaret

It was Sunday and Margaret had woken up that morning with a terrible headache. She had called Leo and he had convinced her to stay home. They had a very light schedule for work that day. His only meeting was with General Adamley. Margaret knew that they had been in Vietnam together and thought it was more of a friendly get together more than anything else. So she had given in to Leo's request and stayed home.

Later that day;

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ADAMLEY: I was Forward Air Commander. I gave you your directions. [reads from file] "Your target is north-south running bridge over river, one kilometer to the tree line running east-west."

LEO: [impatiently] Yeah? [defensively] It was a military target.

ADAMLEY: It was a civilian target. It was a dam. There were eleven civilian casualties.

LEO [increasingly stunned and shaken, struggling to make sense of it all]: Why did you tell me that?

ADAMLEY: Because you could be charged and tried for a war crime.

LEO [still can't believe what he's heard. He sighs deeply, overwhelmed, and puts his hand up to his face. Eventually he looks up at Adamley again and then angrily says]: Why did you tell me that?!

ADAMLEY : [coolly] All wars are crimes. [Adamley sighs]

LEO[ leans back in his chair, shaking his head, and stares at Adamley]: We've been here awhile.

ADAMLEY: Yeah. [stands up, buttoning his jacket]

LEO: Maybe we'll call it a day.

ADAMLEY: Yeah.

LEO: I'll get you some time with the President this week.

ADAMLEY: I appreciate that.

LEO: [stands and sighs heavily] Thank you.

ADAMLEY [looks a bit uncomfortable as he starts to leave]: Thank you. [leaves] ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Leo stands stiffly, looking somewhat disoriented. He stares out the window and rubs the back of his neck. He wasn't sure how long he had been looking out the window when his private line began to ring. On reflex he picked up the phone. "Yeah".

Leo's voice was so weak and indistinct that Margaret wasn't even sure if she had heard anything. "Leo, is that you?"

"Y..es, Margaret " Leo was now on auto pilot, not even sure of what he had just said.

"Leo, are you ok? What's going on?" Margaret was starting to panic. Something was very wrong at work or with Leo.

Leo is rubbing his face and trying to gather himself. "Margaret. I'..m fine. What did you need?" He said as he sank into his chair.

"Leo, I know something is wrong. Do you need me to come into work?" As she is saying this, she is off the couch and starting to get herself ready to go into work.

"No.. I don't need you here!" Leo is starting to lose it. He wants to get off the phone before he completely loses it. "Margaret, um.., look I'll see you in the morning." And with that he hangs up the phone. He leans back in his chair and stares at the ceiling. " Why the hell did he tell me that?!" And with that he slams is hand onto his desk, gets up and leaves the office.

"Leo" But she realizes that he is no longer on the other end of the phone. She hurries and finishes getting ready and is out the door and on her way to the White House.

Margaret arrived at the White House 15 minutes later. She went directly to Leo's office. He wasn't there, but his suit coat was hanging on the back of his chair. She started searching for him. A hour later, she had still not found him and had been all over the White House. She had been to the mess, bullpen, down to the sit room, the Oval office and had called the Residence. She had asked several people, but no one had seen him. She was starting to become frantic, enough so that she was going to see the President and inform him.

"Charlie, I need to speak with the President" Margaret chewed on her lip while she stood in front of Charlie's desk.

"Margaret, what's up?"

"Um, I can't find Leo anywhere and I think there is something wrong". Margaret nervously states.

"I'll check, Margaret have a seat I'm sure its going to be ok". Charlie gets up and goes in to speak with the President.

"Sir, do you have a moment to see Margaret. She's got herself all worked up about not being able to locate Leo" .

Jed pops up from behind his desk. "What do you mean she can't find Leo?".

"She's been here for about an hour looking for him".

"Ok, Charlie send her in". He walks to the middle of the room awaiting Margaret's arrival.

Margaret rushes into the room. "Mr. President, I'm sorry to bother you, but I'm really worried about Leo. I called in here earlier and when he picked up the phone he wasn't himself. He seemed distressed and then got upset with me and hung up." Without even a breath she continued on. "So, I came into work, I found his suit coat in his office, but haven't been able to find him anywhere here" Margaret was breathing heavy now that she had finish her rant.

"Margaret, you need to calm down, I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason for what happened and I'm sure Leo is here somewhere. You and I both know he wouldn't leave without his suit coat." He walks over to Margaret and touches her on the arm and then looks at the open door. "Charlie"

"Yes sir". Charlie walks back into the office.

He turns to Margaret, "Have you checked everywhere?"

"Mr. President I've been all over this place and no one has seen him since his meeting". Margaret is still panicking.

"Charlie, call the guards and see if he has signed out".

"Right" Charlie leaves the office.

"Margaret, why don't you sit down. Would you like a glass of water?"

Margaret stares at the President. She has never sat down in the Oval office before without Leo being in here and she isn't sure if she should.

"Margaret, please sit down. Its ok"

Margaret sits and places her hands in her lap and they begin to fidget. "I'm really sorry to bother you, but I know something has ..".

Before she can finish her sentence, Charlie comes back into the Oval. "Sir, the guard says he signed out the Southwest Exit over an hour ago."

Margaret jumps up with having heard the news and heads to Leo's office without a word. Charlie and the President follow her. She goes over to his coat and starts searching the pockets. "Here's his wallet and keys, what is going on?"

"Margaret, I know he had a meeting with Adamley. Charlie, call Adamley and see if they had their meeting". Margaret, please lets not go into full panic mode. Call his hotel and see if he's there". Even as these words were leaving his mouth, he himself was having a hard time not going into a full blown panic. Leo was such the immaculate person, he would never leave work without his suit coat.

Margaret calls the Watergate. "May I speak with Mr. McGarry in room 1535, ahh, OK Thanks, um, could I please leave a message. Have him call his office, no matter what the time is. Thanks". Margaret turns to face the President. "He wasn't there."

After a few minutes, Charlie comes back into Leo's office. "Sir, I have General Adamley on the phone."

"Thanks Charlie". He walks over to Leo's desk and pushes the speaker phone button. "Alan, we have a sort of have a situation here. Did you meet with Leo this afternoon?".

"Ah.., Yes Sir I did".

"What time did you leave his office?"

"Sir, we finished up a shortly after 1600 hours Sir".

Margaret can't contain herself, " I spoke with him about 4:15 Sir.".

"Mr. President, what seems to be the problem".

"Alan, soon after you met with Leo, he, ahh, we can't locate him.". The President is really starting to wonder what in the world happened to make Leo take off. "Alan, how did he seem when you guys met?"

"Sir, who's in the room with you?" Adamley was really beginning to regret his decision to push Leo into letting him see the President.

"His secretary, Margaret and my body man, Charlie". Do I need to clear the room, is it code word sensitive?". The President was looking at Margaret, she was shaking her head like there was no way they were going to get her to leave Leo's office.

"No Sir, but it was private matter, that I'm not sure Leo would want anyone to know about". Adamley was going to leave up to the President to decide.

"Alan, under the circumstances, I think you need to tell us what happened. As a matter of fact, I'm ordering you to tell me now!" Jed was losing his patience and was really starting to get a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.

Adamley told the him about their meeting and the disclosure he made to Leo about the supposed military target.

"Oh my god, why did you tell him that?!" The President was livid.

"That's exactly what he asked me. I needed to see you on this matter and it seemed like the only way to get past Leo and onto your schedule".

"How was he when you left". Margaret jumped into the conversation. All she cared about was finding Leo and what shape he was when Adamley left.

"Um, he.. was visibly upset and maybe somewhat disoriented". Adamley was not very proud of what he had done to old friend.

"You're aware of his situation and saw how upset he was and you just LEFT HIM!". If Margaret could have reached through the phone she would have strangled him.

Jed was shocked by Margaret's outbreak, especially toward a general. He had never heard her raise her voice before, but he now realized the total devotion and love that she had for Leo. He himself was ready to strangle Adamley. "Alan, if something happens, I'm going to hold you personally responsible." And with that he hits the disconnect button. "Charlie, get me Ron Butterfield". As he's saying this, Margaret grabs he coat and heads for the door. "Margaret, where are you going?"

"I'm going out looking for Leo. If you find him before me, please call me on my cell". And she was out the door and down the hall before he could say anything else.

As Jed watched her go, he is reminded of his and Leo's earlier conversation that morning:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ LEO[waiting by the entrance to Oval Office ]: Good morning.

BARTLET: Be subject to one another, Leo. What can I do to be of subject to you?

LEO: I'm fine.

BARTLET: Yeah?

LEO: I've got Margaret.

BARTLET: Okay. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

He now knew what Leo meant. Leo did in fact have Margaret and that was a force to reckon with. Now all he could do was hope for the best and wait for Ron.

Leo had left the White House with no real purpose other than he had to get out of that place. That place that reminded him so much of duty and country. That place that had cost him so much in the last two years. All he craved was escape. Escape from the news he had just received about a time in his life that he had thought he had finally put behind him or at least come to terms with. And now it was back. Back with a vengeance. Something else with also back with intensity, something that he hadn't felt for a long while, not since Rosslyn. He wanted to forget. He wanted to drown. He wanted a DRINK. Who was he trying to kid, he didn't want a drink, he wanted ten!

Leo had walked several blocks before he stopped and thought about what he was doing. He couldn't believe where he was standing. He was at Washington Circle right next to GW. He sat down on a bench, just like he had on that night a little over a year and a half ago. That was a night he would never forget. He had come so close to losing two important people in his life. He also had come so close to heading to the liquor store down the street. And now, here he was again.

Margaret had gotten her car and headed south. She really had no idea where she was going. She just had to be out there doing something. Leo had an hour head start on her and could be anywhere by now. The only thing in her favor was he was on foot. Without his wallet his options were pretty limited, unless he had pocket cash but that was something he rarely carried. Not in her favor though was the fact that it soon would be getting dark and then he would be impossible to spot.

She headed west on Constitution Ave, circled the Lincoln Memorial and headed east on Independence Ave up to the Capitol and then back down Constitution. Now what? She had driven the whole mall area thinking that he might have gone down by the monuments. When he first got back from rehab, he would take long walks at lunchtime and the mall area is always where he went. Before rehab, most of his walks were to area restaurants for liquid lunches. She could only hope that this wasn't the case tonight.

Leo looked down at his watch and saw that it was six o'clock. Two hours since his misery began. Just a little over two hours ago he was looking forward to seeing an old friend, now he was thinking about another old friend. One that would do him even more harm, but one he dreadfully craved. He got up and headed down the street. Down to the liquor store to crawl back into the bottle. The bottle that would be his refuge and his demise.

Margaret had been searching for almost an hour now and is running out of ideas where to look. She was deep in thought when her cell phone rang and scared her half to death. "Hello, Leo?"

"No, Margaret its me, Charlie".

"Have you found him?"

"No, but we do have a better idea of what direction Leo was headed when he left the White House. The guard that was on duty, when he left, just got back from dinner break. He said that Leo was headed west on Pennsylvania Ave."

"Thanks Charlie. I'm near the Watergate right now. I thought maybe he might have headed towards his hotel." Margaret turned her car north.

"Margaret, I also wanted to let you know that they are some secret service agents looking for Leo too. The President has told them only to locate him, but not to approach him. They are to then contact you and give you his location."

"Ok, thanks Charlie. I'm heading towards Washington Circle. Bye". Margaret is a little more hopeful now.

Leo walked into the small store and found the aisle that he was looking for. They didn't carry Johnny Walker Blue, but that didn't really matter. All he wanted was something to dull the pain. Top shelf didn't matter. He couldn't believe how easy it was for him to reach out and grab a bottle. He took the bottle to the counter and went to reach inside his coat pocket for his wallet. He was shocked to find that he wasn't wearing his jacket. "AH, I.." He reached into his pants pocket and came up empty. "I'm sorry. I .. don't seem to have any money on me". He quickly walked out of the store. "Dam it" he muttered to himself. He headed back to the circle and the bench that he had just come from.

Margaret entered the circle was going to turn down Pennsylvania Ave, but a car cut her off and she had to continue on around the circle. She couldn't believe her eyes when she saw Leo on the other side of the circle sitting on a bench. "Thank God" She said to herself. She turned onto the first street and parked her car. She ran back to the circle and was relieved to find Leo still sitting there. Now came the hard part, what was she going to say to him. He was leaning over with his elbows on his knees and staring at the ground. He didn't even notice her approaching.

"Leo" She whispered. He didn't hear her. "Leo" she said a little louder.

He looked up at her and she almost shuddered. "Margaret?" His face seemed to have more lines than ever and his voice sounded dead. "What? .. What are you doing here?".

"I was looking for you. I was so worried after my phone call to you that I went to the White House.". Margaret was still standing next to him, unsure what she should do next.

"I don't want to be found" Leo's eyes were intense. "Please just go away and leave me alone."

Margaret sits down next to him. "Leo, I know what happened. It wasn't your fault. You were just following orders"

Leo stares at her. "Following orders doesn't make it right" Leo jumps up. "You couldn't.. just ..leave me alone". Leo turns and starts to walk away.

Margaret jumps up and grabs a hold of his arm. "Leo, I'm not going to let you walk away from me." She gets right in his face. "I know what you want and I'm not going to let you go down that road to hell again." She pulls him back to the bench and makes him sit down. "Leo, you're a good man who has done so much for his country. You were mislead, this was not your fault."

"Margaret, I just .. there could have been kids there.. how am I going to forget that" Leo's face is intense and the tears start to fall.

Margaret stares at Leo thinking about this man that she has loved for years and then does the only thing she can think of. She grabs his face by both hands and pulls him towards her and kisses him. Not a chaste kiss, but one filled with love and hope.

Leo pulls away and looks at her. "Why, .. did you do that?"

Margaret is slightly embarrassed by her forwardness, but decides it is time to part with the truth. "Leo, I've loved you, I mean been in love with you for some time now. I thought maybe it was time to tell you. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to .. I'm sorry ..I've probably just made things worst .. I."

Before she can finish her sentence, Leo grabs her and kisses her very passionately. "Oh Margaret, I love you too". He grabs her and holds onto her for dear life. "Margaret, I need to tell you something. Tonight, I ah.. almost .. drank. I had the bottle in my hand, but since I didn't have my wallet I.. Margaret, I would have drank it". Leo has pulled away from her and is looking down at the ground.

"Leo, you don't know what would have happened"

"Yes, I do, I would have .., and I still just want to forget. I will always be an alcoholic." Tears are in his eyes again.

"Leo, yes you will always be one, but I love you anyway, you don't know what would have happened tonight" She pulls him into a hug. "You have had quite a shock today, lets go somewhere and talk about it in private."

"Margaret, are you coming on to me?" He flashes her one of his famous grins.

"Maybe, but mostly I'm cold and want to leave this hard bench!" She gives him a sweet but seductive smile. "My apartment is only a few block away from here".

"Ok" Leo stands and offers her his hand. She grabs it and they head off to her car.

Once they get to her car. "Leo, I need to call the President and tell him I found you"

"What, he knows too". Why was he not surprised.

"Yes, I'm sorry but I was so worried and when I couldn't find you anywhere inside the White House I sort of panicked and went and told him. He's the one who called Adamley and found out what happened" Margaret is staring at the floor of the car now. She's not sure how Leo will react to this.

"Margaret, you panicked, I find that hard to believe" He said sarcastically with his infamous crooked grin.

Margaret turned to him. "You're not mad at me".

"No, it just shows me how much you care. Others wouldn't have gone to the trouble of searching and would have just let me go."

Margaret couldn't help but wonder if he was referring to his ex-wife. "Leo, I do care. I love you. I can't imagine my life without you in it". She has reached over and touched his cheek while she was talking. "Leo, we will get through this together. I will stand by you. I won't leave you! Somehow we will figure this out"

Then she leaned in and kissed him. It was a kiss like he had never experienced before. He couldn't believe the love he felt from it. Maybe she was right. Maybe things would be Ok. All he knows now is that he loves her and can't believe that she feels the same way. His really is a lucky man. Somehow they will make it though this together.

The End